High-Risk Pregnancy Care Video: Angie's Story

Angie must stay in the Perinatal Special Care Unit

Unexpected pregnancy complications mean Angie must stay in the Perinatal Special Care Unit at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns for several weeks. As she hopes for a safe delivery, she is cared for by a team of experts including Sharp-affiliated OBGYN Dr. Sean Daneshmand.

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Angie: (Starts singing German lullaby) Well I usually sing to all of my kids including my boys, but it's in German. It's like a Christmasy, fall tradition. (Continues singing lullaby)

I would wake up in the middle of night and just kind of shake him and say, Baby, three? I mean really, three? And he would look at me and go, Yeah, Baby, three.

Gino, Angie's Husband: The one that’s by itself is, is it Camilla (Angie laughs) or Daniella?

Angie: Daniella.

Gino: Daniella is by herself.

Angie: So she’s fraternal.

Gino: Yeah, but I have no clue where she is. 

Angie: Baby!

Gino: Like, if I point … I forgot, don’t they move? OK, so Daniella is here. Right?

Angie: Mm-hmm.

Gino: Anabella is here and Camilla is here.

Angie: There you go, good job for you.

Gino: I kinda guessed but I got it.

Angie: I went to a routine checkup with my doctor.

Dr. Sean DaneshmandUnfortunately at 26 ½ weeks all of a sudden there was a fluid discrepancy.

Angie: We saw that the liquid for Baby B was too low and for C was a little high. 

Dr. Daneshmand: So that was time to say, Angie, we belong in the hospital now.

Angie: And I said, Wait, right now, right now? And he said, Yeah, right now, right now.

Dr. Daneshmand: Angie spends weeks here. It's not easy; she’s got two kids at home. She’s got a husband at home; she’s got a life at home. But she does everything to make sure that these three babies do well. That’s powerful.

Angie: I was admitted when I was 27 weeks. And tomorrow I’ll be 30 weeks.

Gino: The other day one of the nurses called Angie and I heard it through the speakerphone. "Are you home?" It sounded funny, but it is home.

Toni Hicks, RN: They’re taken away from everything that’s normal. So by telling them, You know, I understand that this is really hard for you. That’s huge for our patients.

Angie: This is our date night that we never get at home.

Karen Anderson, Social Work Supervisor: Good morning. Ready for your tour? Our goal is for you to see a little bit what the NICU looks like. Because it's pretty likely that triplets are going to end up there.

Toni: The risk of having a premature baby is that their lungs are not completely developed. They could have brain bleeds.

Angie: You hear a lot of stories, um, you know of triplets who don’t make it or especially the identical twins. The body absorbs one of them.

Karen: Now a baby like this, even though he’s in the isolette, can be taken out and held by the parents. We do what’s called kangaroo care.

Angie: I didn’t see it as a sad place, I saw it as a, a way of empowering me.

Dr. Daneshmand: Right now our goal is, all right, 32 weeks, 34 weeks, after 34 weeks it's icing on the cake.

Denise Frank, RN: I have four children of my own and I try to put myself in that bed and remember, you know, what was most important to me.

Dr. Daneshmand: With Angie’s pregnancy, two of the babies are sharing one placenta. So when that happens there’s a higher chance of why the baby is not growing very well.

Gino: Does it give you a weight?

Our cutie pie’s weight is 3 pounds 2 ounces. The only one that’s, you know, measuring probably just a little bit tinier is actually B.

Angie: B.

Dr. Daneshmand: How cute is that?

Angie: Who does she look like?

Dr. Daneshmand: She looks like Gino.

Angie: Gino? Come on.

Dr. Daneshmand: When Gino asked me, "So everything is good Dr. D., right now? Are we good for at least two weeks?" Well it's a day-by-day kind of a thing.

Angie: Anything can happen between now and my due date. We could have contractions that we can’t control. We may do a emergency C-section. For us, we don’t count the weeks here, we count the days.

I’m four centimeters dilated already. So it's time….

Nurse: We ended up checking her cervix tonight and she was pretty dilated so there’s kind of no time but now.


Gino: Three little stars will be born tonight.

Angie: I have some hard work ahead of me now.

Dr. Daneshmand: Angie’s babies are going to be born via Cesarean section because of safety concerns for the babies. Angie, cutie pie....

Angie: Hi.

Dr. Daneshmand: How are you, my darling?

Angie: I feel good.

Dr. Daneshmand: You’re amazing.

Angie: As soon as they’re born, you know I almost feel like it's a dream. So I just want to touch them or give them a kiss and make sure that they’re OK.

Dr. Daneshmand: Each of the babies is going to have their own advanced life support team. OK, Gino.

(Baby cries, delivery room sounds)

Dr. Daneshmand: Hi, angel, my God. So cute, you guys.

As soon as Angie’s babies are delivered, they’re passed through a window. There’s a room adjacent to the operating room where the babies are assessed, helped with breathing, stabilized and then transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit.

This is our angel. (Laugh) Oh my goodness, hi booboo, hi pumpkin.

(Delivery room activity)

Nurses: Stats of 92. Heart rate 137 … 79 … heart rate 150 … heart rate is 146 … my temp is 37….

Angie: But I didn’t see them.

Gino: But you will soon.

(Delivery room sounds, overtalking)

Nurse: Yeah, we’re at about 55 percent.

Neonatologist: They’re on C-Pap right now. They are needing some pressure to open up their lungs. Tonight is a big night for us.

Angie: They look big, how did they fit in there? Are you sure there’s three?

Alina Harper, RN: You know, I really empathize with the parents that have to have their babies and then be separated from them.

Dr. Daneshmand: We have to remember these babies are still small. And they still are predisposed to having other complications. Then again, long-term morbidities, but so far we’re excited that everything turned out very well.

Alina: I love to see the initial contact between mommy and baby. I always look for that, that moment that’s just theirs that I get to be a part of.

Angie: It feels so right. I was only a few hours apart from them and I already missed them. So it feels good to be reunited.

Nurse: There’s Daddy now.

Gino: This is Anabella. Hi, Anabella. Look at that, she’s opening her eyes, listening to me. Beautiful, beautiful feeling.

Angie: It's truly a dream come true to have them come into my life.

Shhh … shhh.

For More OBGYN, Pregnancy and Childbirth Information
To learn more about pregnancy and childbirth services at Sharp, visit OBGYN, Childbirth and Pregnancy.